Seriously though, if I was a month I wouldn’t want to be November. Firstly, it’s NaNoWriMo then it’s Blog Posting Month (NaBloPoMo) as well as a million other things like Native American Heritage Month, Lung Cancer Awareness Month and the American Diabetes Month!
Was talking Camp NaNoWriMo tonight with a friend of mine when the idea of co-authoring came up. I’ve always known we will work on a project together. It was only a matter of time but i thought maybe….christian romance….not that she’s a prude or anything. let’s just say she’s my good side.
Anyway we are barely 10 minutes into plotting when it hit us that we are going to need Pen Names.
I have never run from anything in my life and then in an era characterized by Vlogs, Gay marriage and Tanned toddlers, I’m using a pen name? A part of me tells me that it’s cowardly and i ought to damn the consequences but have i mentioned that it’s the same part of me that convinces me to hide pizza until midnight when Mr H. is asleep and i can have me a private party?
it just seems wrong because not so long ago 2 things always come to mind when i hear the words ‘Pen Name’
a. the writer sucks so bad that he won’t live it down if people know his true name
b. said book is crass in S&M /Porn material way. the only thing worse than writing a boring book is using a bland pen name like
Turns out pen names are still going strong and there’s no sign they will stop anytime soon.
Pen name, literary double, Nom de plume, call it whatever you want but you could find yourself needing one for any of these reasons:
1.For God’s sake: Maybe you’re religious or worse still maybe you’re not and your family is. they could even be prominent at their local place of worship. it’s easy to start worrying over what your family will say about their faith in relation to your writing. you can pick a pen name or go with your real name and just hope that your folks are the typical kind that read the reviews and lie that they have read your book.
2,If you’re writing a Tell-All book like for instance ‘My adventures with Carlos Danger’ or ‘How **** got me pregnant and made me terminate it’.
Chances are that you’ll be spelling juicy secrets and making enemies as you go. it might be easier to go by Jane Doe and hope that sales will rake in enough cash to keep you incognito forever.
You are delving into the Adult Novel scene: You scream and snatch your erotica if your infant touches it and you are overwhelmed with shame the rest of the day. Just imagine what it would be like to have your child(in future, all grown up) finds your adult novel with your real name which probably happens to also be his/her name. there ought to be a law against that. Nobody esp. sons, wants to know that his mother penned lines like ‘and he touched her core and she arched her back and they exploded together.’
3.If you are a first-time author and with no confidence that anyone will buy your book. you stay up all night studying the sales charts and conducting online research on mind control so you can will the unsuspecting public into buying your book. if you are this terrified then your life probably depends on a pen name.
4.Some writers have amazing fan bases and it’s great but it can be a pain when a romance writer is trying his/her hand at something new. maybe something like the Vampire/ Shapeshifter/ WereTiger fantasy thingy. Many fans will not read the book description before buying as long as the name listed is their fave author’s. I’m guilty of this as well. Imagine a fan buying a book expecting aliens only to find a novel set in ancient Korea about King Sejong’s love life!
5. Like rare pearls, writers without any desire to be praised or noticed do exist. Their kind wants nothing to do with the media attention or People Magazine taking polls about who to cast as the main character. they just want to be left alone while they work on other books.
Awwww. Arts for Arts sake.
P.S: These rare-pearl writers are probably trust fund babies.
6. It’s easy for a sleepy John Grisham fan to buy your eBook if your name is Joan Grisham. It might no matter that your book can run circles round Lord of the Rings because the sleepy fan might think you’re a fraud and might write your brilliant book a scathing review guaranteed to terrify prospective buyers. Some writers use pen names when they feel their names can affect book sales.
In the 19th century, it wasn’t uncommon for female writers to adopt masculine pen names so that readers would take them seriously. Women still choose pen names for that very reason today.
Do you know you will probably sell a lot more books if your pen name was Rob Kardashian? There’s something very sad about knowing this. If only I could unknow it.